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Extra + ordinary

Is Modern Art influencing the electronics industry? By Philip Ling.

Many striking examples of modern art are created from fairly mundane materials. One reason may be that the artists feel they are emphasising the importance of things that we may take for granted.

There is a parallel scenario in the electronics industry, although here it is less about expression and more about economics. Using standardised processes and materials is key to maintaining affordability, especially when introducing disruptive technology. It's all very well to design a car that doesn't rust, returns hundreds of miles per gallon and is impossible to crash, but if it can't be made on a production line and have a realistic price tag, it will remain on the drawing board.

For a long time now, silicon has been the substrate of choice. But when it comes to analogue devices that offer high voltage and high speed advantages, it is normally the less mainstream process that is employed.

Graham Pitcher

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